Are You A Heroic Sales Leader, Or Are You Harbouring One In Your Business?

Issue 34

Without a sale, no other department in the business need exist, so it's no surprise that capability and expertise in selling should be placed front and centre in any business growth strategy. However, if the owner/ entrepreneur is a natural sales person themselves, ironically that natural ability and heroic sales flair can actually become an inhibitor to scale as the company matures.

A Heroic Sales Leader, is someone who leads the sales effort from the front, who keeps all of the customer related information in their head and who has built a sales system around themselves – fine when you’re a start-up and your only goal is gaining that initial sales traction. However, when the company begins to enter the scale-up phase, that same person often becomes a frustrating bottle-neck that strangles growth potential.

There are two main reasons why Heroic Sales Leaders exist;

1. On an unconscious level the owner/ founder gets an ego kick out of knowing everything about everything to do with every customer and prospect. They’ll likely deny this is the reason and will express their desire to move beyond the day to day sales function, meanwhile continue to meddle in every transaction and client relationship.

2. The business has tried and failed to build the right type of sales team to achieve their growth ambition. So after burning a ton of cash and losing time recruiting, inducting and managing a sales team (or often an expensive Sales Director hire), they sack everyone and decide that once again they’ll have to take over this unmanageable problem child in their business.

A growth business needs to learn how to leverage people and systems in order to build the right sales function. The type of Sales Engine a business needs will change depending on the type of business, the type of customer they serve and therefore the necessary customer journey and route to market and although no one Sales Engine Is exactly the same as the next, one thing is for sure, no business can successfully scale with a Heroic Sales Leader leading the charge from the front.

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